Apricot is delicious and healthy fruit and it is similar to a peach. This succulent fruit has orange-like color. Apricot seeds can be sweet or bitter. They contain amygdalin (vitamin B17), for which some scientists believe has anticancer properties.
Apricot is often called “royal fruit”. It was believed for a long time that its homeland was Armenia. Later it was learned that apricot was first grown in China, from where Alexander the Great brought it to these areas. In that period apricot was known as the “golden fruit of the Sun.”
Apricot is a good source of beta-carotene and helps with infections and skin problems. Beta carotene is one of the best antioxidants that are found in some plants. It is called “natural sun umbrella” because it protects the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays, reducing the activity of free radicals, which cause emission of UV rays when sunbathing.
The results of numerous studies have shown that beta-carotene protects us against acute and chronic skin damage caused by sun exposure. According to some studies, beta carotene reduces damage to DNA and thus prevents the development of degenerative diseases.
Anti tumor activity is just one of the many functions of beta-carotene. As a potent antioxidant, its role in protection and promotion of the defense forces is very important, especially in the elderly, and thus indirectly fight against other threats to human health.
Prevention of night blindness and hypersensitivity to light is one of his subsequent features.
Scientists found that apricot contains large amounts of lycopene -- an antioxidant that helps the body fight cancer and protect against various diseases. Lycopene, which is found in apricot, is very effective in the fight against free radicals that adversely affect human health. Lycopene has an important role in strengthening the immune system and has beneficial effect on the heart.
Researchers and scientifically confirmed the protective role of lycopene in the etiology of prostate cancer, as well as reducing the risk of breast and skin cancers.
Lycopene may also slow down the growth and spread of prostate cancer in people who are already suffering from the disease. Therefore, apricot has anticancer effect as well.
Beta carotene and lycopene from apricot reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood. Thus they naturally combat atherosclerosis and heart disease.
Apricots also contain large amounts of vitamin A, which helps to improve eyesight.
This fruit is an excellent source of fiber, which helps for better digestion.
The fruit of apricot contains 86% water, 0.6% protein, 0.4% oil, 14% carbohydrates, cellulose and pectin. Energy value of 100 g apricots is 117 kJ (28 kcal).
The vitamins contained in apricot are carotenes (1500 milligrams) of which originated apricot orange color, then vitamin B, folic acid, vitamins E and C. The minerals contained in this fruit are potassium (320 milligrams), calcium (17 milligrams), then phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc and copper.
Apricots are particularly effective in improving brain function and the treatment of low blood because of the abundance of folic acid, cobalt and copper. Apricot oil has been used as a natural cure for cancer and ulcer of the stomach for a very long time.
Apricot can be eaten fresh, but it can also be prepared as delicious jams, compotes, juices and brandy. The story of the French writer Bernard Fontenelle is known worldwide. When he was 100 years old, one of his friends asked him to reveal the secret of inexhaustible freshness and youth, he replied that his secret is hiding in the apricot.
Dried apricots -- a natural source of energy
Dried apricots have much more valuable energy than fresh ones because they contain a large quantity of sugar, but dried apricots are also a rich source of iron and calcium. One cup of fresh apricots contains 75 kcal, a 100 grams dried apricots contain 195 kcal.
Dried apricots are especially recommended to those who practice sports regularly.
This recommendation is due to the fact that dried apricots contain very large amounts of potassium (1.600 mg. 100 gr.), which is a very important mineral for normal functioning of muscles. 5 dried apricots cover 20% of our daily potassium needs and part of our daily iron needs as well. Before any physical activity take 4 to 5 dried apricots.
One more advice: Eat dried apricots combined with orange or kiwi in order to get vitamin C bomb. The oranges and kiwi will facilitate the absorption of iron in your body.